What are the receptacle outlet spacing rules for kitchen countertops?
Here are the basics: A receptacle outlet needs to be installed on each wall countertop or work space that is 12 inches or wider. This makes sense because even a 12-in. space can accommodate a toaster, coffeemaker or other small appliance. Receptacle outlets need to be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 24-inches measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space. In other words, an appliance with a 24-in. cord could be placed anywhere along the countertop, and the supply cord could reach a receptacle outlet in either direction.
Countertop spaces interrupted or separated by built-in rangetops, sinks, refrigerators or similar are considered separate countertop spaces. At least one receptacle outlet needs to be installed at each island countertop space, where the island measures 24 inches or greater in the long dimension and at least 12 inches or greater in the short dimension.
Always check with your local electrical inspector about the specific code requirements in your area.
Question Answered by John Williamson, Chief Electrical Inspector, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
John Williamson has been in the electrical industry for 40 years and is a licensed master electrician and certified building official. John has worked for the state of Minnesota for over 23 years and is the Chief Electrical Inspector. For the past 25 years John has also provided electrical code consultation to various book and magazine publishers
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